Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quotations From The Book: "To Rise Again At A Decent Hour" by Joshua Ferris

"Don't you know the disservice you do to yourself when you let joy pass you by and hold on to the ugliness and pain."
-To Rise Again At A Decent Hour

"And I told her what I believed: that genuine self-improvement, actual fundamental change, was exceedingly rare-was, in fact, more like a myth in line with that of a divine Creator. We are who we are, for better or worse, with the exception of a few uncharacteristic gestures and sudden moments of vulnerability."
-To Rise Again At A Decent Hour

"I wished it had turned out differently. I wished I had been better all around. I wished above all that when I believed something like that I was finally over her, that I knew myself even the slightest bit."
-To Rise Again At A Decent Hour

Friday, September 19, 2014

David Mitchell Quotations

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” 
-Cloud Atlas

“People pontificate, "Suicide is selfishness." Career churchmen like Pater go a step further and call in a cowardly assault on the living. Oafs argue this specious line for varying reason: to evade fingers of blame, to impress one's audience with one's mental fiber, to vent anger, or just because one lacks the necessary suffering to sympathize. Cowardice is nothing to do with it - suicide takes considerable courage. Japanese have the right idea. No, what's selfish is to demand another to endure an intolerable existence, just to spare families, friends, and enemies a bit of soul-searching.” 
-Cloud Atlas

“You say you're 'depressed' - all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.” 
-Cloud Atlas

“How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false. Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings. One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn't, the wolves and blizzards would be at one's throat all the sooner.” 
-Cloud Atlas

“She was widely read enough to appreciate my literary wit but not so widely read that she knew my sources. I like that in a woman.” 
-Cloud Atlas

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Favorite John Gray Quotations

"If Romantics turn from the things that humans have built in order to find something meaningful that humans have not made, Idealists return to the human world in order to escape the loss of meaning. Both are mistaken. Unknown to itself, the human mind creates worlds it cannot grasp. The places that are made by humans are as numinous and fugitive as those that appear in the forest shade. Breaking the spell of diurnal perception, you can see landscapes in cities as unexpected as those that explorers discover in uncharted regions of the globe."
-The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths

“Not to be needed is a slow death for a man.”

“We think our actions express our decisions. But in nearly all of our life, willing decides nothing. We cannot wake up or fall asleep, remember or forget our dreams, summon or banish our thoughts, by deciding to do so. When we greet someone on the street we just act, and there is no actor standing behind what we do. Our acts are end points in long sequences of unconscious responses. They arise from a structure of habits and skills that is almost infinitely complicated. Most of our life in enacted without conscious awareness. Nor can it be made conscious. No degree of self-awareness can make us self-transparent.” 

“Long after the traces of the human animal have disappeared, many of the species it is bent on destroying will still be around, along with others that have yet to spring up. The Earth will forget mankind. The play of life will go on.”

“Tragedy is born of myth, not morality. Prometheus and Icarus are tragic heroes. Yet none of the myths in which they appear has anything to do with moral dilemmas. Nor have the greatest Greek tragedies. If Euripides is the most tragic of the Greek playwrights, it is not because he deals with moral conflicts but because he understood that reason cannot be the guide of life.” 

“Those who struggle to change the world see themselves as noble, even tragic figures. Yet most of those who work for world betterment are not rebels against the scheme of things. They seek consolation for a truth they are too weak to bear. At bottom, their faith that the world can be transformed by human will is a denial of their own mortality.” 

“Nothing is more alien to the present age than idleness. If we think of resting from our labours, it is only in order to return to them. In thinking so highly of work we are aberrant. Few other cultures have ever done so. For nearly all of history and all prehistory, work was an indignity.”